Dr. Donovan's Daily Hair Loss Blog (2011-2019)


Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is one of the many options for treating certain types of hair loss. We take great pride in delivering PRP therapy using state of the art techniques.  During the initial comprehensive consultation, patients will learn about PRP (if it is a helpful treatment option for their specific type of hair loss).  PRP does not benefit every type of hair loss so it is not a treatment for many patients. However, if the treatment is helpful, patients will learn about the likelihood it will benefit them, given the patient's age, pattern of hair loss, family history and progression of hair loss to date.


Dr. Donovan's latest PRP research is now published Donovan JC. Successful treatment of corticosteroid resistant ophiasis type alopecia areata with platelet rich plasma. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Case Reports. 

Download Manuscript - Donovan J. PRP Treatments for AA


Platelet rich plasma (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, as it relates to hair loss, refers to the use of a patients own platelet cells from their blood to stimulate hair growth. Platelets are a part of our blood cells and they are rich in various growth factors and cytokines that have the 'potential' to stimulate hair growth. PRP is not helpful for all patients with hair loss, but is helpful in a proportion of individuals with hair thinning. In carefully selected patients, current estimates suggest that a benefit is attained in at least 30-40 % of patients. For some patients, it can provide a good option when hair transplantation is not possible (i.e. crown hair loss in men under 35). A short video on PRP (courtesy of Cytomedix) shows the key steps in PRP therapy.  read more.  We use the ANGEL PRP system at the Donovan Hair Clinic.


Who is a candidate for PRP?

Following an initial consultation, Dr. Donovan will determine if a patient is a candidate for PRP treatments. In general, PRP is suitable for:


a. Individuals with hair thinning who do not wish to start minoxidil (Rogaine) or hormone blocking medications

b. Individuals with hair thinning who started minoxidil (Rogaine) or hormone blocking medications but stopped on account of side effects.

c. Individuals with hair thinning who had an improvement in their hair with minoxidil (Rogaine) or hormone blocking medications and wish to try to achieve even further improvement.              

d. Individuals who did not have improvement with low level laser therapy (LLLT).

e. Individuals undergoing hair transplantation.

f.  Individuals with scarring hair loss conditions or alopecia areata who did not respond to standard treatments



***Our PRP Program is a highly specialized treatment program and not all patients qualify to start PRP.    ALL PATIENTS MUST meet AT LEAST ONE of the following 4 criteria in order to start PRP treatments. 

1. The individual has been diagnosed with ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA (MALE PATTERN BALDING or FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS) by Dr. Donovan and the individual does not wish to start treatment with FDA approved treatments such as minoxidil (Rogaine) and/or hormone blocking medications.

2. The individual has been diagnosed with ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA (MALE PATTERN BALDING or FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS) by Dr. Donovan and used minoxidil (Rogaine) and/or hormone blocking medications but ultimately stopped these medications on account of side effects.

3. The individual has been diagnosed with ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA (MALE PATTERN BALDING or FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS) by Dr. Donovan and is currently using minoxidil (Rogaine) or hormone blocking medications and wishes to try to achieve even further improvement through use of PRP  

4.   The individual has been diagnosed  scarring hair loss conditions or alopecia areata who did not respond to standard treatments. Please click on the links above for a list of standard treatments.  



FAQ - Common Questions & Answers about PRP 

Click on the following link to take you to our Q & A section on PRP





PRP – MICRO/MACRO Protocol with Exogenous Calcium Gluconate


After obtaining 120 mL of blood from the patient, and obtaining PRP through use of the ANGEL PRP centrifuge,  we then use a unique PRP protocol which incorporates the concept of traditional micro needling but extends this to include what we have termed macro needing.  Use of 120 mL of PRP gives us approximately 17-20 mL of PRP to inject throughout the scalp - a volume we feel is essential in treating hair loss.  We do not use ACell with PRP (as some countries do) as this is prohibited under Heath Canada regulations. 

We have abandoned use of a traditional skin roller (Dermaroller, etc) device on account of it creating excessive damage to hair fibers. Our micro needling and macro needling involves complete dermal puncture. As part of our PRP protocol,  microneedling is not done with a roller but rather with a 30 gauge needle at a density of 4 intradermal site creations per square inch repeated at a second 15 minute interval.  This serves to provide a pro-inflammatory wound healing response and helps activate platelets. Both our initial injection at injections are 15 minutes are done with use of freezing medications (local anesthetics). This is followed by macroneedling and PRP injection at a density of 5 intradermal site creations per square inch with a 25 gauge hypodermic needle. All of our PRP procedure is done with sterile hypodermic needles which are discarded at the end of the procedure and not reused. 

Our preliminary studies suggest that creation of very small “micro wounds” in the dermis are important to the success of PRP. However, it appears to be finely regulated – excess wound creation appears to impair PRP response; insufficient wound creation appears less effective to patient PRP responses.

Calcium gluconate is an important exogenous platelet activator in our PRP-MMEC protocol. We use concentrations varying from 1:20 to 1:10 with higher concentrations seeming to be more effective in men than women.  


Key Facts about our PRP Protocol

1. 100-120 mL of blood obtained from the patient. 

2. Use of the ANGEL PRP Centrifuge using 2 to 7 % hematocrit depending on hair loss condition treated.

3. Use of PRP at concentrations 5 to 8 times above baseline

4. Activation using calcium gluconate (no thrombin)

5. No use of ACell 

6. Treatments at day 1, month 3 and then every 4-6 months if proving helpful. 



Pre and Post Procedure PRP Instructions:  

Click here to review our instructions: PRP INSTRUCTIONS



PRP fees:

1 session: $ 1,500 + tax

2 session package: $ 2,800 + tax

4 session package: $ 5,500 + tax










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